When I was younger, I used to think that everything was set in stone. Be it music, life or any other subject, I would believe that the rules applied everywhere and all I had to do was to follow them. As I grew older and my rebellious inner soul awakened, I found out that I was utterly wrong. I found out that not everything was pre-determined and you had to let your individuality dictate what to do and how. That feeling grew stronger as I started playing bass and experimenting with various sounds. I discovered that the “truth” I was told wasn’t always applicable to the things I wanted to do with my music.
I decided to stop caring about how I was supposed to play and just do everything the way my heart told me to. I like to think that that’s when I found the artist I was looking for and my performance started to sound more professional. These feelings stemmed from the attitude I noticed towards my instrument: no one believed bass could be diversified (I know I should blame my surroundings). I decided to prove everyone and that’s when I found my one true love – Boss ODB-3. It opened up a lot of opportunities for me and I hope it will do the same for you. Let me introduce its features to you and maybe you’ll fall in love with it too!
One of the things that always proves to be right about Boss pedals is that they are predictable. I don’t mean it in a bad way – vice versa, you always know what you’ll get once you look at the package. They create accurate expectations and, for that reason, customers are rarely disappointed. ODB-3 isn’t an exception either. It has a familiar body – it shows off Boss’ signature design in bright yellow color. It has knobs on the upper part of the surface and the bottom is dedicated to the large footswitch. The build quality is typical as well: do whatever you want – drag it on the ground, sit on it, jump on it – it will still hold up. More importantly, this fella was developed for bass guitars, which means its inner circuitry is tailored for the instrument. It can read all the frequencies perfectly and reproduce them without any trouble. It has EQ, which will help you nail down the upper and lower end. This way you’ll be able to craft your tone with this pedal itself and won’t need to reach for something else for that purpose.
ODB-3 is capable of producing versatile bass overdrive without any fuss. You’ll fall in love with its simplicity as soon as you plug it in and start experimenting. From their experience with distortions and overdrives, Boss knew perfectly well what was needed for the ultimate bass pedal – the Blend. It enables you to intensify your sound without cranking up the volume, and thus, makes it possible to retain the sound of your instrument as much as possible. Finally, ODB-3 can be powered by a single 9V battery (check LED will show you when it’s time to change it) or an adapter. It’s pretty obvious that this pedal is the definition of convenience.
Moving onto the control section, ODB-3 is quite tweakable. Boss managed to incorporate all the essential properties while saving a lot of space on the panel. They have included one dual encoder, as well as single knobs that assist you in crafting your tone. All you have to do is take small steps, see where each set will take you, and then intensify everything as much as your heart desires. To make sure you know how to achieve that I’ll discuss the functionalities of each control below.
The first one on the panel is Level. It alters the volume of the affected signal and can take things to an extreme if cranked up. Then we have a dual encoder: the upper one (High EQ) rolls off or brings back the treble, while the lower one (Low EQ) accentuates or tones down the bottom end. Then we have Balance, which changes the ratio between wet and dry signals. As you turn it counterclockwise it amplifies your original sound, while clockwise rotation will result in an increased amount of affected tones. The last knob we have here is Gain, which can be utilized with overdrive or clean sounds equally. In the former case, it intensifies the effect, while in the latter it boosts your signal and makes it more audible. I’m sure you know what the footswitch does so I won’t waste your time on defining its functionality.
Boss ODB3 Sound
The most important virtue of Boss ODB-3 is definitely its sound. It is capable of creating warm, subtle overdrive at lower settings, but if you were to max everything out, you’d definitely be able to emit some crazy distortion as well. Such tonal diversity is what I love about it the most. But be careful – if you increase all the settings carelessly, the chances are that you’ll end up creating noise in the circuit. I know perfectly that hiss can be annoying, but there are ways to work your way around it. Why would you make that effort? The reason is the character of the sound. It is textured, full-bodied, and defined. It won’t lose its dimension and dynamics even at higher settings, which is what we’re looking for in a bass overdrive pedal. Tone controls on ODB-3 are extremely usable, as they change the color of your sound easily and can bring back some of the harmonics that might disappear in the process. On the whole, this pedal is amazing!
Boss has never ceased to impress us with its drive pedals. Their overdrive and distortion units have been in many legendary rigs and continue to occupy the hearts of countless guitarists. ODB-3 expands that to bass players as well and enables them to enjoy the same quality of sounds. It is compact and affordable, yet its possibilities are still limitless. Play around with all of its settings and once you find that sweet spot, perform with it interminably. Good luck!